Apple has been given a formal deadline to switch the next iPhones’ lightning charging ports to USB-C.
Reluctantly, the company acknowledged that it will follow the EU directive, which calls for the adoption of a single standard for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, and other compact electronic devices.
While the EU claimed the action would lessen e-waste and be pro-consumer, Apple stands on the premise that adopting a single standard charger for all smart devices would stifle innovation.
According to SkyNews, the tech giant’s handsets sport proprietary lightning ports, with only some models of the iPad featuring the USB-C jacks favoured by Android phones and many other devices, including games consoles and headphones.
In spite of the fact that an earlier attempt to implement a standard charging port across the EU in 2018 was unsuccessful, a temporary agreement was achieved earlier this year and approved by the European Parliament in the month of October. The European Commission has officially released the official directive for USB-C, giving all portable devices until December 28, 2024, to conform.
While products that only charge wirelessly, like the Apple Watch, are excluded, laptops have been given more time to catch up, with an enforcement date of 28 April 2026.
The EU stated its commitment to enhancing “interoperability” across gadgets in an official journal released this week. Practically, this implies that when someone needs to charge something, they shouldn’t have to worry about digging through a tangled mess of different cords at the bottom of a bag or the back of a drawer.
According to the EU’s journal, the change will also be saving unnecessary waste and costs, something Apple has stated it tried to do recently by completely removing built-in charging adapters from new iPhones.
According to Greg Joswiak, an executive at Apple, it would have been more environmentally beneficial to consumers if the EU wasn’t so rigid on its stand on the USB-C chargers.
Following the EU directive, the USB-C will at the very least be on the iPhone 16 since its customary for Apple to release a smartphone annually. Every September, the company releases a new generation of smartphones. But according to sources, the change could happen sooner, perhaps in time for the rumoured iPhone 15 next year. The company will also need to make changes to its Mac mice and AirPods as well.